On My Journey of Trauma Healing
by Natasha Levai
| PTSD: My Story Project #009
I decided to take part in the PTSD: My Story Project because the topic of trauma and PTSD is something I had to deal with a lot, both in my own story and the stories of others. The topic of trauma is not very popular yet; it is so important to talk about it. And as my story shows there are consequences if we don’t enter the journey of trauma healing.
Before I was born
My parents were fairly young when they got to know each other and started dating. They met in college. And soon after that, my mom was looking at a pregnancy test that had two distinct lines. Thoughts were rushing through her mind. The father of the child was not the man she wanted to raise her baby with. He was quick-tempered, aggressive, and, at times, abusive.
My mom took a trip to the nearest abortion clinic and had the situation dealt with there. She hoped to get relief from her burdens but found that a heavier load was placed onto her shoulders. She took a life of an innocent child. It hurt both emotionally and physically. She also wondered why nobody told her how painful these abortion procedures were!
Time went on, and the emptiness and pain were painted over with the present matters of life. She did not want that man to be the father of her baby. Yet, once again, she was holding the way too familiar two-stripe test in her hands. What should she do now? She still did not want him to raise her children now she was even more sure of it than before. But she remembered what that abortion procedure did to her body. And somewhere inside, she knew the life blissfully swimming inside her was a miracle of God. She couldn’t take it because, if she did, there would be no other one.
Real also ‘You Are Never Alone by Jannette Fuller’
So, I was born. From the time I was in my mother’s womb, my father would abuse my mom both physically and emotionally. If I think back on my childhood years, it feels as though my parents fought every single night. I think that might be an exaggeration, but that is what it felt like to my little self.
I remember how I would sit in front of a TV in an empty apartment while my sister was outside playing with her friends or somewhere in another room doing something else. My mind was empty, and my body relaxed. Yet, once I heard the noise of the door handle it felt as though electricity would pass through my whole body. I would become hyper-vigilant. I would turn off the TV, try to look around in a rush and hide anything that seemed to be out of place.
My father came home. Whenever he came home we could expect one of these to happen: he would be in a bad mood, bark at us to make him something to eat, then find that the apartment was not clean enough and start his aggressive yelling session. If that was the case we could expect that our mom would come home and join him in his madness. Then he would beat my mom up. She would scream and cry. And we would lay in bed with our ears plugged as much as possible, hiding under blankets hoping this will end soon.
Another scenario would be that he would just go into his room, turn on the TV, and stay there for the rest of the night. And third, it could be him getting drunk, and what would happen next nobody could ever predict.
There were plenty of times when I lay in bed wondering what would I do if tonight my father killed my mom. He attempted it so many times. And sometimes he was so drunk that he couldn’t remember anything the next day. My mom was in a hospital once or twice because of him. And I always lived in fear of the unpredictability of my tyrant father.
My school life
We went to school daily, but we couldn’t really focus on learning. My mind was still spinning after what happened at home the night before or that very morning. So I don’t even know if I actually really learnt anything whilst in the class. I guess my family was not the only reason it was hard to study.
One time a new girl walked through the classroom doors. The teacher introduced her as our new classmate, and she sat at one of the tables. I looked at her and noticed a lot of makeup, hair spray, and other attempts at looking as acceptable as she could.
Her story was that she used to go to another school, but because of bullying, she transferred here. Her nickname there was a ‘nun’, so she made sure that here the word would never cross anyone’s mind. She did the job well. Boyfriend after boyfriend, locking herself up with boys in the changing rooms before p.e. classes. It all became known to the kids in school fairly soon and she started gaining more and more popularity.
However, it did not end there. She decided to find a scapegoat to make sure the trauma of bullying never got a hold of her again. That scapegoat was me. As weak as I was, considering that there was nobody behind my back at home teaching me important things in life, I did not fight back. If she said something to me, I just ignored her. So, she found easy prey, and soon, many others joined her in the ‘fun’. Three years would pass by before I would start going to school without fear of bullying.
Years passed, and as I entered my teenage years, I started seeking purpose in life. Why am I here? What is my mission? There must be one, I knew it. I went looking for it in many places, but life just seemed too hard for me to keep living it. I felt like a 60-year-old in 16-year-old skin, so burdened with little desire to live. In fact, I honestly hoped that I wouldn’t make it to 20 years of age. I thought that there is not enough strength inside of me to be an adult.
Meeting God at my lowest
However, my story was about to change drastically. One day I was sitting down on a little bench in the city centre, surrounded by hundreds of people passing by. Suddenly a man stopped by and started a conversation with me.
As this post is not intended to be a book, I will have to skip a lot of details. But basically, the man stopped by to tell me about the love of God, Jesus, and eternal life. At that moment, I did not understand almost anything he said. All I remember was that I was shocked that someone would want to talk to me. Especially in the middle of a busy square.
Soon I started coming to a local church out of curiosity. I desperately wanted to know who God is and what was His point in making me. Although the whole church thing was extremely foreign and frankly strange to me, I decided to give it a shot. Soon I was received into a community of Christian people. To my surprise, they seemed to like me a lot. And I had no clue why. I guess these people were the first ones I felt sincerely loved by in my life.
Embarking on my journey of trauma healing
Fast forward a couple of years, and I started university. However, I couldn’t learn much with all my trauma still wreaking havoc in my brain, and eventually, I quit studying. I started working at a local children’s shelter designed for kids who are in the process of being taken into the system but whose cases were not finalized yet. At this point, I felt adopted into the church family. And I experienced so much overwhelming love from God who was showing me what a real father was meant to be. However, despite this, I still had a deep longing for something more. I needed healing, and I just knew that I couldn’t stop there. I had to keep moving forward.
So, I moved to Hungary for a Bible school and helped at local orphanages for a few years. But eventually, my trauma started getting in the way. The depression crept in slowly but surely. In time I found myself almost completely disabled by depression. I had to leave my job as a church worker. So I ended up in my friend’s house in California for the next four months for a break. This is where I started facing my past, my trauma, and the consequences it created in my life. So I embarked on my journey of trauma healing.
In the process of trauma healing
I started therapy, and it went on for 1.5 years. I definitely recommend going to therapy for anyone struggling with any sort of mental difficulty! It changed the way I thought, the way I felt, and the way I lived.
Needless to say, healing from trauma isn’t easy and it takes a lifetime to complete. And I am still in the process of trauma healing. In the last two years, God blessed me with a husband and a baby, and I am so grateful that He never stops pursuing His children on the road to healing.
Natasha is a stay-at-home mom to a 7 months old baby girl living in Eastern Hungary with her husband. She and her husband are currently involved in helping children from a local orphanage through their trauma stories by creating trusting relationships and inviting them to their home.
Read some more real-life stories from trauma survivors here: ‘PTSD: My Story Project‘.
Do you have experience with PTSD, or do you take care of / live with someone who has? Would you like to share your story in a guest blog post?
I’m not an expert or a health professional, so the aim of this project isn’t to offer professional advice. Neither is it to pity those who experience PTSD. That’s not what I want. My aim is to raise awareness of PTSD. By sharing your story, you can inspire and empower others. You can highlight the methods that helped you. This way, you can encourage others to reach out for help.
And it may help you as well. Perhaps it’s something you feel like you’re not able to talk about within your closest circle and would like to connect with others in a similar situation. It’s nothing more than bearing an untold story inside you. The fact is that our society still lacks an understanding of mental health. Therefore, I’ve decided to share my story and invite others to join me in this project and write a blog post about their experience. By working together, we can help destigmatise mental health problems and promote wellbeing.
To be featured
If you would like to join in and share your story on my blog but don’t have the experience of writing a blog post, this isn’t a problem. You can still contact me, and I’d be happy to assist you with the writing. And you can use a pseudonym if you wish to stay anonymous. You can share as much of your story as you want in a way you feel comfortable with.
The only thing I ask is that you mention ‘PTSD: My story project’ in your post and briefly state why you have chosen to take part in it. You will be allowed to approve the post before publishing it, should it be edited.Follow Journeyofsmiley on WordPress.com